Sunday, June 14, 2009

Second Inspection.

I did my 2nd inspection of my one remaining Swedish hive this morning since getting back here at the end of April. I believe in leaving them to do their thing and any 'help' we give them actually hinders mostly. So my inspections are few and far between these days. My first inspection showed only one very small patch of brood about the size of my hand and few bees. This now has brood on several bars and very little drone brood. I saw a couple of drones on the combs but have not seen any flying yet. I managed to rid some of the old string that I had tied the combs to the top bars with last autumn. A couple of bars were crossed combed and I had to do some surgery and now have two large pieces of brood sat at the bottom of the hive under empty top bars next to the divider board. Nearly every comb had some side wall attachment which needed cutting too. Not like my Spanish blacks that never attach! I am still learning the Swedish beekeeping calendar and I suppose it will take a season or two more before I can second guess timings. Another reason to leave them to it. They know what they are doing even if I don't. I have been thinking of doing a split on this hive to make up for the one that didn't make it through the winter and to give me the backup I need. Having looked at this one, it doesn't seem a candidate for splitting yet, maybe in a month it may have caught up if we have good weather. The last two weeks have been cold and rainy so little chance for them to get going! Even though I don't inspect them often, I am always watching them at the hive entrance which is through the wall of the barn with the kenyan hive located inside the barn.


  1. Way to go Norm! Was this a horizontal hive?

    I'm 100% behind your leave alone policy even though I get more cross combing problems but I can live with that.

    I've just opened one horizontal for the first time this year as I had been adding bars at a fantadtic rate - they now fll the whole 4' hive and swarmed again this Sat exactly 3 weeks to the day since their last swarming! Even though I inspected the hive following the second swarming it was boiling with bees so much that I couldn't close it without loosing many :-(

    All this is leading me to consider leaving it unopened all year - still to decide but it seems worth givig it a go.


  2. Robin, again, sorry just picked this up so totally out of date!